December 04, 2011

life lately

lately i've been doing little mini-blog entries on facebook, but today it is just too long for a simple status update. i need to ramble about life lately. this may be a record-breaking entry.

on my birthday of this year, we found out we were going to have another baby. JOY! we realized quickly that our [fabulous!] house was going to get very, VERY crowded around christmastime, so we decided to start looking for a slightly larger home to move in to. we spent the better part of the summer readying our space to be put on the market and searching for a new place to call home. we asked a good family friend to be our realtor and walk beside us as we searched for a home and tried to sell ours. we looked at a couple of houses in the same area where we were living, and as he learned about what we were looking for, he suggested a house in another part of town that he had listed. it was not a part of town we had originally wanted to pursue, but the house was really nice. over 2000 square feet. 3 bedrooms. 2 baths. a really spacious finished basement where the kids could safely play while this mama did laundry (something that could NOT happen in our current "scary basement"). not to mention the three "it would awesome if's" on my list: it was on a dead end. the back yard had tons of woods. it had wood burning fire places. *dreamy sigh* the house seemed to be in really great condition, even if it was completely stuck in the 70s, so we made an offer on it - a relatively low offer compared to what she was asking - and she accepted it!! so then we waited on the contingency to sell our own home.

the day our house hit the market, we went to the mountain cabin for two weeks - our longest visit yet. it was a MUCH needed rest. we had just a few little nibbles, but nothing too promising. as we waited for the contract on the east ridge home to expire, we continued to keep our house sparkly and ready for someone else to fall in love with, and we continued to watch my belly grow as our daughter prepared to enter the world. when the contract on our offer expired in september, we re-evaluated keeping our house on the market vs. staying where we were. we made a pros-cons list of both sides, and decided to keep our house on the market, and if it sold, we would renew the contract on the other house.

"if it hasn't sold by the end of october, we're taking it off the market." we all agreed that was a relatively safe distance between closing on everything, getting settled in, and the arrival of sally ann, due christmas day. on october 27, we got an offer we could not turn down! so we renewed our offer on the other house, expecting everything to fall into place quickly and expecting to be settled into a new home by the end of november.

then we had the house inspected. several big, and some dangerous, things were revealed. the roof had sustained damage in all the storms in the past year (she had not been living in the house for about a year) and needed to be fully replaced. the back deck couldn't hold more than 2 people safely because the supports were too narrow. the basement-crawlspace had a pretty bad leak. the electrical breaker box (or something...) was deemed "dangerous" and in desperate need of replacing. while a dampness inspector (there's an inspector for everything, btw) was looking at the basement, he barely knocked into one of the main-line water pipes, and it busted open, causing water to pour everywhere!! that revealed that the main-line water pipe was completely corroded. not to mention the kitchen didn't have a dishwasher, which would make life pretty near impossible with a toddler and newborn in the house! in order to install the dishwasher, we would have had to cut away the existing cabinets. in order to do that, because of something having to do with the way they were built, we would have to get all new cabinets....domino after domino lead to realizing we needed to do a full kitchen renovation.

when we saw all that the inspection revealed, we picked the biggies (it revealed more than i listed, but those listed were the biggies) and we added those to our offer, asking her to repair them before we moved in. this is a very customary practice in purchasing homes, but she was confused by the whole process. instead of agreeing to do some or all of the repairs, she said she would do none of them, but lower the price of the house. that would have been great if we had been planning on purchasing the home with cash. but we didn't have $6000 laying around to repair everything!! when she got our answer, she asked us to get some estimates since she lives out of town with her daughters.

enter my super-hero husband. not only has he been a wonderful husband (putting up with my pregnancy mood-swings), an involved and loving father, and an excellent teacher, he has assumed the responsibility of meeting inspector after inspector, contractor after contractor to get the lowest possible price (but still the best quality of service!) for the owner of this house. he's basically been running a marathon for about 3 months now. once all the numbers were in and we were convinced we had a good amount for her, we made our final offer and waited to hear what she would say. all the while watching both the closing date of our own home the birth of our daughter creeping closer and closer.

let me add here that our realtor, our good family friend, had been truly AMAZING this whole time. every time we called him, he was there, even if it was after hours. he has been patient in explaining things we didn't understand. he has been kind and informative to both us and the owner of the other home. he has just been a true champion (no pun intended...his last name is champion!) for example: he met chris at the house one morning to let him and a contractor in to get an estimate, and while the three of them were there, another contractor called saying he could be there in 30 minutes. chris had to get back to work, so instead of standing by and letting chris reschedule, he offered to stay and get the estimate from him. i don't think other realtors do that.

at this point in the story, we have had two wonderful thanksgivings with two wonderful families, my belly has grown to the point of gigantic (it is just impossible to roll over in bed now!), and we're wondering where we're going to lay our daughter's head in just a few weeks.

a few days after thanksgiving, nana had a heart attack. nana is chris' grandmother - our only living grandparent between the two of us - and she is NOT just a grandmother. she is a remarkable woman that we are all very close to. a few years ago, i, her granddaughter by marriage, went to spend fall break with her by myself. i could seriously write a book about her! no matter her circumstances, she is always positive, always looking to your need and not hers, always making everyone around her feel incredibly loved. these and a million more are the reasons we decided to name our daughter after her - sally. so to say "our grandmother had a heart attack" is just about life-shattering. and add that to the roller coaster we were already riding, and we were right in the middle of some pretty amazing rapids.

so after our final offer on the other house, two days went by. five days went by. eight days went by. we closed on our house and wrote a rent check to its new owner, assuming that we would close on the new house within the time we were renting from him. after a week from our offer, we still had not heard an answer from her, so we assumed she had decided to turn us down. our contract had expired anyway, so we moved on mentally knowing we would get our earnest money back, and we started looking to our alternatives. my sister offered for us to live in the house that she and her husband are renovating for FREE until we found something more permanent. free rent during a time that i will be on maternity leave and not receiving income? yes please!!

on december 1, less than 4 weeks away from the anticipated arrival of sally ann, we heard from our realtor. the owner of the east ridge house had accepted our terms. after all the praying we had done, we had both just assumed that God would make the decision for us and just make it go the way He wanted it. but now we had two really great options, and we had to CHOOSE??? i think my eyes were big with shock for at least 24 hours.

we prayed. we sought council. we prayed. we made pros/cons lists. we prayed. we cried. (okay it was really me who did the crying). we prayed. and prayed. and prayed. finally, we decided that if we went with the other house and started the renovations and updates that needed to happen, there was no way everything would be done before sally's arrival. we couldn't close until the week of the 5th anyway, which means construction couldn't start until after then - which would be 2 weeks before her due date. (and she will likely be early since i'm already 3cm dilated and 50% effaced....!!!) in the words of one of my husband's co-workers, "YOU ARE CRAZY if you think you can renovate a house with a newborn and a toddler. you think this house [my sister's] is just a coincidence? THIS. IS. GOD." so we risked ruining a relationship with a dear friend (our realtor) and making a sweet old lady (the owner of the house) angry and frustrated, and decided to walk away and move into my sister's house. if she had accepted our offer even just a few weeks earlier, we may have gone with it. but the timing just ran out.

so now i move to the part of the story where i get to talk about how deeply and WELL we are loved.

i never dreamed that we would have a baby shower for this second baby. we seriously have everything we need (except for that dern double stroller!), and who throws a shower for a second kid? my best friend jency shirai, that's who. she offered to give us a shower in her newly remodled home! they moved in, and just about a month later, she threw the best shower EVER. we invited just a few close friends and family, so it was small and intimate, and we got some of the best PINK things! sweaters, ruffly shirts and pants, hair bows, gowns, dresses, leggings! what do i do with all this girly stuff?? :) the most overwhelming part about the shower was the "double stroller fund". jency asked people to bring money to donate toward the double stroller. she said "the slatens aren't comfortable asking for this. so they're not asking. i am!" hah! we got over half of what we need for that stinking expensive thing!!! WE ARE SO BLESSED.

the date of jency's shower was planned long ago in the late summer, so i had been looking forward to it for a while. december 3rd. all of our house stuff dragged out and dragged out and dragged out so long - guess when move-out day wound up being for us? december 3rd. seriously? SERIOUSLY? but i decided it wasn't really that bad since i'm 9 months pregnant and can't really help move anyway...

chris sent an email out asking for help, and BOY did we get it!! we had...oh man. i think more than 10 people show up to help pack up the uhaul, and most of them had trucks that got loaded up too! they showed up at our house in the freezing cold (literally freezing) at 8am on a saturday morning when they could have been home with their families or sleeping in. we were absolutely floored by the outpouring of love. WE ARE SO BLESSED.

and THEN! after the shower was over, jency called and asked if she could come help clean up our house. i shouted "NO!!! you have served us enough today!!" but she ignored me and came over anyway. at the end of our move-out day, jency and nathan were the only ones left. jency was packing last minute boxes while nathan cleaned our [disgusting] shower. WE ARE SO BLESSED.

- nana is doing okay for having had a heart attack at age 97. she's moving from the icu to a regular room, and the last i heard was doing much better than any doctor anticipated. that's nana. always pulling through and surprising us! (apparently they had her as good as buried when she was 85 and had complcations after surgery...) we are so blessed.
- all of our stuff (good grief we have a lot of stuff) is at my sister's house. we're staying with chris' parents until she and her husband can get a few things fixed, and then we'll move in there full time. we are so blessed.
- i'm having more braxton hicks contractions than i ever thought possible, and i'm just wondering when this precious baby girl will make her appearance! we're all hoping she comes just a little early to spare herself a christmas birthday. chris' dad's birthday is christmas day, and he keeps saying "let's all hope she's not born then! it stinks!" whenever she comes, what a christmas we're guaranteed to have!! we are so blessed.

at church yesterday during the part where the pastor leads us through confession, he was guiding us to pray certain things to God. at one point, he said, "and now, if you can, talk to God about how you are disappointed in you feel like He has let you honest, and cry out to Him..." i literally laughed because there is NOTHING i have to be disappointed in. even with all these rapids of life, we have been beyond well taken care of. we sang a song that i must post the lyrics to. as i was still floating on the outpouring of love that so many people had given to us, no matter how good our friends are to us, Jesus truly is the greatest.

Jesus what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus what a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my victory wins.


Jesus what a help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my comfort helps my soul.


Jesus what a guide and keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.


Jesus I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.


Post a Comment

<< Home